General Peter van Uhm chose the gun, to create a better world peacefully.

Occupation: General, Military Commander, Chief of Defense, Visionary

Field(s) of expertise: leadership, vision, strategy, communication, (international) security, motivation, inspiration

Language(s): Dutch, English

"I don´t like guns. But I chose the gun, not to destroy, but to create a better world!"

Born in Nijmegen, Netherlands, in 1955, Peter van Uhm attended the Royal Military Academy in Breda from 1972 on. Afterwards, he was assigned as platoon commander to 48 Mechanised Infantry Battalion. He has been a platoon commander at the Royal Military NCO-School in 1978, and returned to 48 Mechanised Infantry Battalion in 1979, where he was initially deputy company commander and later company commander.

The Global Topspeaker was appointed Company Commander with 43 Armoured Infantry Battalion and was deployed to Lebanon in 1983. Peter van Uhm attended the Royal Netherlands Army Staff College from 1984 to 1986. Then, in the rank of major, he was the Deputy Head of Operations of 1 Division “7 December”. After that, he was part of the Royal Netherlands Army staff, first as Head of the Training Policy Office and then, in the rank of lieutenant colonel, as Head of the Training Section.

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In 1991, van Uhm spent a short period working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a Defence liaison officer during the preparation phase of the European Community Monitoring Mission (ECMM) in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was subsequently appointed Head of the Plans Division of 1(NL) Corps staff. In 1994, he was appointed battalion commander of 11 Infantry Battalion, Grenadiers and Rifles Guards of the Airmobile Brigade.

From 1995, in the rank of colonel, keynote speaker van Uhm held the position of Head of the Personal Office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Netherlands Army, which was followed by his appointment as Head of the General Policy Division of the Army Staff. Subsequently he was named Head of the Military-Strategic Affairs Division of the Defence Staff.

In 2000, and in the rank of brigadier general, he worked at the Headquarters of the Stabilisation Force (SFOR) in Sarajevo as Assistant Chief of Staff for Joint Military Affairs. In July 2001, he subsequently assumed command of 11 Airmanoeuvre Brigade.

After a period of more than two years, van Uhm bid farewell to the 11 Airmanoeuvre Brigade and was appointed Deputy Director of Policy and Planning, which was followed by his appointment to head of the same directorate in the rank of major general.

On 5 September 2005, Lieutenant General van Uhm was appointed Commander of the Royal Netherlands Army. On 17 April 2008 General van Uhm became Chief of Defense of the Netherlands. He handed this appointment over to General Tom Middendorp on 28 June 2012. With his many years of experience in the military, Peter van Uhm is an excellent speaker when it comes to the matters of motivation, leadership, strategy and communication.

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